New World Update, new Local Legend. Tied to today’s release of WU XVI: Caribbean, the MSFS team has also unveiled a new Local Legend aircraft. Marking a first in this featured series, the latest addition is a helicopter – the Bell 47J Ranger.
The Bell 47J Ranger is a single-engine, four-seat helicopter with a 2-blade main rotor and a 2-blade anti-torque tail rotor. It’s part of a series that became the first helicopter certified for civilian use in the United States, paving the way for various applications and spawning numerous iterations.
The Bell 47 series is one of the most successful aircraft lineages in history. Over 5,000 units were produced, many of which remain operational. The Bell 47G, introduced in 1954, and its executive transport variant, the 47H, laid the groundwork for the Bell 47J Ranger.
Launched in 1956, the Bell 47J Ranger was a larger, more powerful version of the 47H and achieved significant success. It holds the distinction of being the first helicopter to transport a sitting U.S. president and has appeared in popular culture, including the James Bond film “Thunderball.”
The 47J features a single-pilot console, a bubble canopy for excellent visibility, and seating for three passengers. It’s adaptable for various operations, including marine environments with its float fittings.
The Bell 47J Ranger was not just an executive transport; it served in various roles, from air ambulance and commuter flights to aerial surveying and military applications. The U.S. Air Force’s adoption of the 47J as the UH-13J Sioux for presidential transport further cemented its place in history.
The Microsoft Flight Simulator team says that the Bell 47J Ranger has been meticulously recreated, offering pilots a chance to experience this iconic helicopter. With multiple liveries and landing gear options, the 47J Ranger in the simulator should offer an interesting new aircraft to explore not only the stunning landscapes of the Caribbean but also countless other places around the world!
Local Legend 14: The Bell 47J Ranger is now available in the MSFS Marketplace, priced at $14.99.